Stock markets were weaker in Europe and on Wall Street Thursday as traders digested mixed economic data and after the Federal Reserve hinted at no short-term monetary policy changes. European indices were down around by around 1.0 percent in afternoon trading, while the Dow Jones index showed a loss of 0.4 percent in early exchanges. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index had already given up 1.2 percent earlier in the day, with investors still concerned about the virus situation in Japan. China released a raft of data Thursday that indicated solid but slowing growth. “China’s second-quarter GDP figures were slightly better than expected, but there is still a sense of unease about the country’s economic outlook,” noted Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell. “A similar feeling is spreading to other countries and suggesting that the post-Covid rebound may find it harder to keep going at a strong pace.” China’s growth slowed to 7.9 percent in the second quarter, down from 18.3 percent in the previous three months when the economy roared back to life after last year’s pandemic-enforced shutdown. The latest figures suggest China should be on track to meet its growth target of more than six percent this year. China’s National Bureau of Statistics said the world’s second-largest economy continued to “recover steadily”, but sounded a note of caution over external uncertainties and the uneven domestic economic rebound. It came a day after Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said the US central bank would maintain its stimulus until the recovery was well under way. In Europe, the sterling climbed against the euro after data showed Britain’s unemployment rate falling as the economy gets back into gear.